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Aston Martin Racing Planning NAEC Effort

Up to three AMR GTLM entries possible for NAEC rounds in 2015…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Aston Martin Racing is poised to make its return to the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, with up to a three-car entry in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup next year.

AMR team principal John Gaw revealed to Sportscar365 they’re currently in talks with two customers, one of them being Paul Dalla Lana, to take part in the four-round endurance championship in the GT Le Mans class, as well as the potential of an all-pro full factory entry as well.

“We want to come back to the NAEC,” Gaw told Sportscar365. “Paul wants to do that and I know we’ve got someone else who wants to do it. We’ve also got Aston Martin interested as well in having a pro car in that championship.

“But we can’t be embarrassed like we were embarrassed last year. It was embarrassing for the brand. It was embarrassing for the customers. We have to see where that little [Balance of Performance] table looks like when it comes out.”

The British manufacturer pulled the plug on its planned Patron Endurance Cup effort this year following the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, which saw its Aston Martin Vantage struggle against the other GTLM class competitors.

While the GTE-spec Vantage has since not returned to TUDOR Championship competition since, IMSA’s VP of technical regulations, Scot Elkins said they’re considering adopting the GTE Le Mans aero kits for Daytona next year.

It’s a move that Gaw would support.

“The reality is that there’s a good balance on the Porsche, the Aston and Ferrari and Corvette at Le Mans, so they should just take the Le Mans [spec] and run it at Daytona,” he said.

Gaw has been pleased with what he’s seen in terms of BoP since their early season fallout and feels the Vantage GTE could be competitive again in the TUDOR Championship.

“I think they actually did quite a good job after Daytona to get everything balanced up and equalized,” he said. “I think it got a bit strange towards the end of the season again. They got it all sorted in the middle of the season then they fiddled with it again.

“I’m sure they can get it sorted. I think it’s harder for GTD than GTLM.”

Dalla Lana, who owns the BMW Z4 GT3 that claimed the GTD championship in the hands of Turner Motorsport this year, confirmed both of his Z4s are up for sale, with his focus to be fully with AMR next year.

The former GRAND-AM champion said he’s planning to return to FIA WEC in GTE-Am, along with the likely Patron Endurance Cup program with the same car.

Gaw said there could be up to five AMR-run Vantages on the grid in the FIA WEC next year.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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